Thursday, December 20, 2007

Perpetual Vision: A Challenge For The New Millennium - Don Moen

Recently I was asked to share a devotional for a few moments during one of our product planning sessions. As I was praying about what to share I was challenged by the theme of our planning session....... Perpetual Vision. Chris Thomason, the V.P. of the Creative Group and I were discussing the importance of seeing things through God's eyes, not through man's eyes. Creating products that are born of the Spirit and not born of the flesh. God's ideas, not men's ideas. I would like to share with you basically what I shared with the management team of Integrity Music that day. I have modified the article a bit to make it less specific to our product planning session and more appealing to a broad group of people. As we enter a new millennium, each of us need to ask God to open our ears to hear what He is hearing, and to open our eyes to see what He is seeing.

What is Perpetual Vision? It is seeing things that are not as though they were. It is living daily in the dimension of faith. It is viewing opportunities with eternal eyes. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen."

Yet, it is more than this. Perpetual Vision is living daily in the dimension of faith, knowing that God has given us the ability, through His Spirit, to see into the future. On my recent trip to Asia I was doing a press conference when I was asked the question, " What are the parts of the concert you look forward to?" My response was, "The parts that are not in the program." In other words, I look forward to those moments in the concert when the Holy Spirit does something that I didn't expect. When that happens, I am clearly not leading, but following.

In I Corinthians 2:9-12 the apostle Paul said, "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN FREELY GIVEN TO US BY GOD"! (NKJ)

Obviously, Paul is speaking about knowing spiritual things here, but if we can get our spirits communicating with God's Spirit on a daily basis, we will be amazed at the ideas that come to us. We will have Perpetual Vision.

Oral Roberts always said, "Miracles and big ideas are coming at you or going by you all the time." If we can learn to communicate with God's Spirit, we can reach out and receive these miracles on a daily basis. Mike Coleman said, "We need to find a way to cut across the infield of the race track and get in front of the pack in order to get a clear perspective on where the race is going". The great hockey player Wayne Gretzky, when asked how he made all the big plays said, "I don't skate to where the puck is, I skate to where it's going to be."

As a young music student, I had to learn to "sight read." The teacher would put a piece of music in front of me and ask me to play it without ever having seen it before. At first, this was very difficult. I would play one bar, stop... play another bar, another bar, and so on. Then I learned that the art of sight-reading was to always look two or three bars ahead while playing the correct bar. In other words, I learned to anticipate what was coming and prepare for it rather than being surprised by a sudden key change or tempo change.

How do we apply these principles to our lives, both personally and professionally, on a daily basis? First, we need to deal with our fear of the unknown and be willing to step into an area of faith. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat was told by his advisors that "a great multitude" is coming against you from beyond the sea. Actually there were three armies who had joined forces to fight against Judah. Jehoshaphat's first response in verse three was fear. Yet, he turned his fear into faith by:

1. Repositioning himself to seek the Lord and fasting. vs. 3
2. Remembering what God had already done for them. vs. 5 - 9
3. Reminding God of His covenant relationship with His people. vs. 10 - 12
4. Renewing himself in God's presence and listening for His voice. vs. 13 - 17
5. Responding to God's voice in faith and declaring His goodness. Vs. 19

By listening to God's voice and following His plan, Jehoshaphat was able to overcome incredible odds and experience a mighty victory. He heard God's plan through the Spirit who spoke through a musician. Imagine that! He had Perpetual Vision.

In 2 Kings 6: 8-17, the Syrians were attacking Israel. The King of Syria was concerned because the Israelites always seemed to know his next move. In verse 12 the king's servant told him, "There is a prophet who is in Israel who tells the King of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom!" Elisha was communicating with God's Spirit. He was also seeing through God's eyes, not man's. He had Perpetual Vision.

In verse 15, the King of Syria had the Israelites surrounded. Elisha's servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" Elisha responded by saying, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." He was seeing something that his servant wasn't seeing. So he prayed that his servant would receive the gift of Perpetual Vision. Suddenly, his servant's eyes were opened and he saw that the whole mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As you reflect on the past year, think about those things that were clearly "God Things" and not just "good things." Think about the many times God intervened for you in a situation. How many times did He protect you without you knowing that He did? As these things come to your mind, begin to thank God for His mercy and love. Now, as you anticipate the next year, the first in the next millennium, what are the things you are involved in that could become huge "God Ideas" if you could see with "perpetual vision?" Now, with faith in your heart, begin to thank Him for what He is about to do in your life.

Today, I believe God is working in each of our lives in ways we cannot see. As we look at the future, let's ask God to let us see the days ahead through the eyes of faith ... with Perpetual Vision. What miracles are coming at us or going by us today? What are we not seeing? Can we see the army of God surrounding us, fighting for us? Can we see the army of God going before us into battle as we worship Him and declare His goodness? Do we have Perpetual Vision?

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